General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) President Amy Gilliland spoke about the vital role systems integrators play for federal agencies, as well as the agencies’ growing appetite for zero-trust security technologies, during a speech to the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) on January 14. .
During a high-profile interview at the NVTC event, Gilliland shed light on the continued importance of systems integrators, especially in the context of increased adoption of cloud services by federal agencies.
Using defense agencies as an example, she said “systems integrators have literally been sitting next to the warfighter in missions for decades.” As a result, they can bring to the table an advanced degree of mission knowledge, the nuances of an agency’s environment. , and the client’s concept of operations, she explained.
“We have great partnerships with technology companies…and through those partnerships, we train our employees on the capabilities they can bring to the environment,” Gilliland said. “At the end of the day, we can be an independent arbiter [and] vendor-neutral when it comes to looking at our client and saying, “Hey, based on decades of knowing what’s going on in your environment, this is the best option for you.”
“And once they’ve made that decision, off-the-shelf commercial products don’t just plug into the customer’s environment, and so it’s our job to use that knowledge to help them integrate,” she said. “So whether you’re talking about cloud or zero trust or 5G or whatever, ‘the role of the integrator’ is that important junction between the mission environment and the business technology…It’s our job to make these two interfaces work.”
Asked about customer demand for technology to help achieve zero-trust security goals, Gilliland said GIT has seen agencies accelerate their transition to zero-trust, either on their own or under the impetus of the Executive Order. Biden Administration Cybersecurity Executive released May 2021.
“We have a whole stack, a cyberstack that we’ve tested in our own labs and can adapt to those environments,” she said of GDI’s capabilities.
“We offer zero trust… at DISA [Defense Information Systems Agency] through ICAM – the credential and access management tool that the DoD will use for its unified environment from a communications perspective,” she continued.
Gilliland also highlighted the zero-trust work the company does for the US Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs. “There’s definitely a zero trust focal point, and frankly, appropriately,” she said.